UEMO welcomes Council Recommendation on Vaccination

17/12/2018 578 Views
UEMO welcomes Council Recommendation on Vaccination

UEMO welcomes the adoption of the Council Recommendation on strengthening the cooperation among Member States against vaccine preventable diseases. Furthermore, it encourages all actors involved to follow these guidelines and to prevent a growing problem in the EU. Despite their outstanding track record, several EU and neighbouring countries currently face unprecedented outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases due to insufficient vaccination coverage rates. This issue calls for a global approach solution and a multidimensional action plan.

Regarding the recommendations, UEMO supports a common vaccination schedule, an EU vaccination card and a web-portal with reliable updated information on the benefits and safety of vaccinations that would help patients moving within the EU. Evidence shows that individuals are most likely to take up vaccinations on the advice of their GP/Family Doctor. GPs/Family Doctors are also best placed to deal with any rare adverse reactions.

UEMO supports facilitating access to national and/or regional vaccination services, by:

  • Broadening opportunities to increase vaccination uptake by encouraging evidence-based immunisation programmes in community, school and workplace medical services.
  • Targeted outreach to the most vulnerable groups including the socially excluded and minorities, so as to bridge inequalities and gaps in vaccination coverage.

However, initiatives must ensure consistency of messages on the safety of vaccinations and not lead to further fragmentation of care. Since pharmacists have been authorised to provide flu vaccinations in the UK or Ireland there is no evidence that uptake has increased among high-risk groups.

UEMO considers that the immunisation of health professionals should be addressed with measures to encourage uptake in both patients and healthcare professionals. Ensuring that national curricula and any continuous professional education programmes include or strengthen training on vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccinology, and immunisation for healthcare workers across all sectors is a very positive first step. UEMO supports the proposal of a coalition for vaccination to bring together European associations of healthcare workers as well as relevant students’ associations in the field in order to combine expertise and experience.

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